Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Summer Ball Park Tour

With the end of the baseball season and the playoffs started, I thought it would be fun to look back at the six ballparks I visited this summer.  I will do that in text as well as the video I made with photos from the stops.  I saw the three oldest ballparks as well as went to my fifth All Star Game, a remodeled park and a two-year old stadium.  Can you name the three oldest ballparks?  Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are easy, but the third is surprising.  Yes it is Dodgers Stadium built in 1962 and celebrating its 50th Anniversary.  With all of the recent ballpark construction, most stadiums are less than 20 years old.

How did I get around to so many ballparks this summer?  Folding a few baseball games together with some of my business trips, probably too many trips to Coors Field to see the Rockies in this their worst season, a family vacation to Boston, and a special trip to Kansas City for the All Star Game is what made it possible. 

The tour started with a visit to Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins and recently announced home of the 2014 All Star Game.  Just two years old, it is another in the long line of modern downtown stadiums.

Next, and several times throughout the summer, we found ourselves in downtown Denver at Coors Field.  Many are worried that Coors Field is becoming much like Wrigley Field where the fans will come out regardless of how bad the team is.  The Rockies ranked 13th in baseball with an average of 32,474 per game ahead of several playoff teams including my pick to win the World Series, the Washington Nationals.  Despite having its worst season for wins and losses, people just can’t stop going to Coors Field.

The third spot on the tour was Fenway Park, which celebrated its 100th Anniversary.  As a part of a family vacation not only did we take in a game, but we went on a tour that was fantastic.  I am not a big fan of the American League, but if I was, I would probably be a citizen of Red Sox Nation.

The fourth spot was Kauffman Stadium for this year’s MLB All Star Game.  I have been luck enough to attend the Midsummer Classic five times (Anaheim-1989, San Diego-1992, Colorado-1998, St. Louis-2012, and Kansas City-2012).  The first three games were thanks to my mother-in-law and mother, but the last two were thanks to my friend Steven Junger.  Steve and I met at Los Angeles Dodgers Fantasy Camp five years ago and have been good friend ever since.

The last two stops were both in California.  I visited Angels Stadium where the California Angels (I can’t get used to calling them the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) with their Dodger heritage manager Mike Scioscia as well as many of the coaches with Dodgers roots run the team the way the Dodgers used to when the O’Malley family owned them.  I forgot my camera on this stop so you won’t see any images of the Big A.

The final stop was Dodger Stadium where I saw my first MLB game as a kid.  As a result I will always be a Dodgers fan first, although there are many other teams I also like. Chavez Ravine is just a beautiful place to see a ballgame and I will always love a Dodger dog in the stands while watching the boys in blue.

So since words don’t do the tour justice, I have made a photo slideshow to the Bruce Springsten song “Glory Days”.  I hope you enjoy this tour of the ballparks as much as I had fun making it to document my baseball odyssey.

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